I do use visualisation quite a bit as a tool in goal setting, but not everyone can visualise and some people find pictures more thought provoking than lots of words. For example I was going to write about something different today … I was going to blog about being cosy in cold weather … I even had a title in my head: “The Duvet Innuit” … that creates a vision doesn’t it? A mounded up duvet resembling an igloo?
Let’s not go there – let us talk about how we see things? Visualisation is a business tool that translates a body of text into an image. I am going to focus on “tag clouds” or “word clouds” in this post but you can also create maps and graphics if you find the right piece of software.
If you look at the home of the blog and scroll down you can see a simple tag cloud of the “Tags” I use to organise the content but one can get much more fancy and meaningful results with other software. As an illustration I have pointed Tagxedo Creator at this blog; I like Tagxedo because it has shaped cloud templates to use. Since my blog is titled for my serenity bus journeys I picked the bus shape for my cloud and this is a cloud based on the text of the blog rather than just the tags. I completed the feel by using colour tones similar to the Stagecoach livery. The bigger the word in the image the more times I have used it. Note that some of the words are not mine – some of them are infrastructure on the page eg Linkedin! – I could refine it and remove those.
Just to show the power of the visualisation I have then changed the shape to the internationally recognisable symbol for balance Yin Yang. So if someone looking at it does’t see how a bus and serenity are connected they could see that the blog is about finding balance in life?
Go have a play yourself – it is great fun and a good tool for expressing yourself and your ideas. You don’t have to own the website if you want to do one based on that – here is one I made a while ago based on one of my favourite professional update sites – Telecare Aware
Another tool I like to use, both professionally and personally is MindMapping. I do break the rules when I am mapping – I use more words than I should but it works for me. It can be a simple or headline project plan, it can be a goal setting tool, or a note taking mechanism. This is an example that I made several years ago when working on a logo design – I have blanked a couple of the boxes as a professional courtesy and you don’t really need to understand all the detail this is an illustration only of how connected ideas can be represented (note the use of colour and icons to help make the messages easier to follow).
Which brings me to my last tool – not everyone sees things exactly the same way. For example some members of any human population will have sight affected by ‘colour blindness’. This is not a one size fits all condition and in fact has several variants. So how do we know that the colours we use will be received in the way we intend them? We can access resources online that help and you will find some here on my Pinterest Boards but let me show you some screen shots from Colour Scheme Designer 3. I have set the colourwheel to the triad shown in the middle (red, Green and a Teal Blue); top right is how I (and most people see it) and the other four are as they appear to some of a variety of different colour blindness conditions.
I am sure from that example you can start to see how important colour is to attracting readers online. As well as my own resources linked above I came across this blog earlier today … Lorelle Teaches … I shall certainly be going back regularly to read an learn (well after some job hunting and Pup preparations at least – maybe Pup would like a little puppy igloo?)